If you’re under the age of 35 or so, chances are that someone has asked you to do something web or tech-related for them. I actually really like that. I miss the old days when my mom would ask me how to get to her Gmail while she was looking at the Yahoo! homepage (now she’s all savvy and checks her Facebook on her iPhone). I’m a pretty active eBay seller and people are always asking me to help them set up their eBay listings or figure out what to sell. eBay is awesome. Setting aside the double-dip they get on their fees (eBay charges fees per listing and per PayPal transaction, the online payment processor it also owns), the magic of eBay is that it provides efficiency to an inefficient market. Anyone can sell their used and new items and can choose whether they want to make their product available to international eBay buyers as well (thereby increasing their market with a single click). But after ten years of selling apparel, electronics and highly technical niche equipment on eBay, I have a pretty good idea of what is worth selling and where you shouldn’t even bother. There are tons of eBay seller guides available to help you research what sells well, as well as Terapeak, but I like to round these ideas out with real sellers’ experiences.
The following are just a few of my favorite products and brands to list on eBay and are based on my personal experience only. These brands sell well even when the item is used, as long as it is a current style and in good condition.
- Tory Burch (People go crazy over anything with that big double T logo)
- Michael Kors
- Tommy Bahama (Men’s Hawaiian shirts in general sell like gold on eBay)
- Juicy Couture Kids (it’s a little less common on eBay and tends to sell very well)
- Whatever the hottest denim brand of the moment is (Seven, Citizens, J Brand, True Religion)
- Under Armour
The important thing about electronics brands is that they seem to sell well even when it is really dated stuff (to you). So if you’re in doubt, just list it. You’ll start to get a feel for what’s popular based on the number of watchers and page views your item has.
- Apple (duh)
Other Stuff that Sells Well on eBay
- Scuba/diving gear and other specialized sporting equipment
- Power tools
- Construction small items like clamps, connectors, fittings, etc.
- Anything related to CB/Shortwave/Ham Radio
- Auto parts
- Vintage/collectible/antique items in popular, low to mid-priced categories (Bakelite, vintage costume jewelry, army/navy/war surplus)
…And Stuff that Doesn’t Sell Well on eBay
- James Perse/Vince/and other non-flashy aspirational designer brands (Rule of thumb: does it have a big logo? Sell it on eBay!)
- Generic clothing (Don’t expect to make a living selling plain black t’s unless you are already a well-established seller)
- Super-specialized items that don’t have a large enough audience on eBay to sell for what they’re worth (like high-end antiques)
There are many different ways you can go with an eBay business. You might start out just cleaning out your house and garage of old stuff you never use and realize you really enjoy selling and don’t want to stop (especially when you’re just two feedback away from the next color star!). Then comes the more difficult task of actually choosing a few items to buy over and over to sell on eBay. It might take a few tries, but you will eventually discover what works for your business.
Next time on The eBay Series: Successful eBay Customer Service